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"The Bowery Mission is a long-standing, faith-based organization with over 100 years of service. People are treated with respect and dignity when they come here seeking help. Sharing with others is truly a privilege and giving people hope is, in itself, its own reward."

Ritajean can tell you stories—stories about her life as an educator, stories about growing up in New York City and about making an impact where it counts. One of our favorites is when she describes her first introduction to The Bowery Mission.

Back in her teaching days, Ritajean enjoyed taking her students on a variety of field trips. On one occasion while arranging for the class outing, she realized that there was a small surplus of money she had collected from the students. Hoping to spark generosity, she told the students of the situation.

Then she asked for a vote whether they would like to get a small refund or possibly give a donation to a well-established local charitable organization. Thanksgiving was soon approaching, and Ritajean had seen an article in the New York Times regarding The Bowery Mission and how they served fellow New Yorkers experiencing hunger and homelessness. She shared this with her group of high school students and they immediately, with no hesitation at all, agreed to donate the money.

What started as "a simple teachable moment" became Ritajean's personal outlet to give back to her city and community. For the last 21 years, she has given faithfully to this organization. Over time, her desire to make an impact has grown into leaving a lasting legacy.

As with most things in her life, she made the decision to include The Bowery Mission in her estate plan with thoughtful planning. Still true to her studious nature, Ritajean did her homework. She toured our facilities, met with our staff personally, asked questions, and saw firsthand how life-transformation happens in the lives of people helped at The Bowery Mission.

To learn more about how you can leave a lasting legacy, like Ritajean, contact Kim Collins at 646-362-3116 or

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